11 January 2018

Tanzania: Sumatra Asked to Increase Number of Buses, Boost Business

BUSINESS stakeholders at Simu 2000 commuter bus station have asked the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra), to increase the number of commuter buses at the station from the current 560 to at least 1,000 so as to ease transportation and boost business at the area.

They said business has gone down due to a small number of commuter buses, which minimise the number of passengers, who are also expected to buy goods from the markets located in the area. According to traders at the area, the most affected areas are terminal two and three which serve as market places.

The terminals' Manager, Mr Greyson Sebastian, told the 'Daily News' that terminal one is specifically for commuter bus services while terminal two and three are used as market places.

He was speaking on Monday when Sumatra officials paid the visit to the area for public education. Sumatra was offering trainings to commuter bus operators on personal hygiene and other related matters.

He urged Sumatra to increase the number of vehicles from the current 560 to at least 1,000 - especially for Kariakoo, Muhimbili and city centre routes from the terminal.

"Increasing the number of commuter buses here will boost the business to all terminals, starting with levy of 500/- per bus, 300/- for taking bath per head and increase of customers for buying various items from the market located at terminal two and three," he said.

In another development, he issued a one week ultimatum to traders who hold stalls at the stand, but do not operate them to open them or risk to lose them as the authority will not hesitate to retake them.

One of the traders, Mr Amos Lyatuu, commented that trading in fenced area might be another reason behind business stagnation and urging relevant authority to set the area open. "The number of customers is very small at this market; however, we are required to pay 1,200 levy every day to the authority.

On his side, Sumatra Executive Director, Mr Gilliard Ngewe, said Kariakoo, Muhimbili and city centre routes were under Rapid Transport (UDART). However, he promised to contact UDART for immediate solution and hinted on the possibility of operating on the routes along side UDART.

"If they are not ready in the near future, Sumatra can temporarily operate," said Mr Ngew

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